Thursday April 25, 2013 | 08:37 AM

Maine Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins stop by the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission's table on Tuesday evening during the inaugural 'Taste of Maine' reception in Washington organized by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the Senate Photo Studio

WASHINGTON – Hundreds of people – including several members of the Senate leadership – gathered near the U.S. Capitol the other night to sample food and drinks from Maine.

Organizers of the inaugural “Taste of Maine” reception were expecting a few hundred people to show up for the evening event that offered beer, wine and finger foods by Maine-based companies. Instead, around 550 people packed into the room at the Senate’s Russell Office Building for the event, which was organized by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

About a half-dozen lawmakers in addition to Maine co-hosts Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King stopped by Tuesday evening for a bit, including Senate leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

“It was a great success,” King said on Wednesday. “I’m sure we are going to do it again.”

The crowd was so large that some vendors apparently started running low on goodies to give out.

Maine companies or groups represented at the “Taste of Maine” reception included:

  • Wicked Whoopies
  • Waldo Stone Farm
  • Little Lads Bakery
  • Shipyard Brewing Company
  • Gifford's Famous Ice Cream
  • Cellar Door Winery
  • Maine Cheese Guild
  • Spruce Bush Farm
  • Carrabassett Coffee Company
  • Maine Distilleries
  • Oats Any Time
  • Baxter Brewing
  • Wilbur's of Maine Chocolate Confections
  • Haven's Candies
  • Stonewall Kitchen
  • The Bread Shack
  • Maine Potato Board
  • Maine Lobster Promotion Council
  • Maine Aquaculture Association
  • Wild Blueberry Commission
  • Maine Maple Producers Association


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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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